By Jon Warech | February 29, 2016 | Culture
In a budding creative community, a handful of Miami-based artists are coloring outside the lines and adding life to the Magic City.
Peacock, Courtney Einhorn.
Bitten by the art bug when Romero Britto visited her elementary school, Courtney Einhorn recently had more brushes with fame when she painted alongside Pitbull at his nationally televised New Year’s Eve concert. In the past year, her brightly colored abstract work was featured at Art Fusion Gallery, on a parking meter in Wynwood, at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and on a sneaker wall at Simply Gallery Wynwood during a live painting hosted by Flo Rida. Up next: murals at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The artist at work on a mural for the Mana Urban Arts Project and The Bushwick Collective in Wynwood this past Art Basel, in collaboration with Detroit artist Brian Lacey.
Douglas “Hoxxoh” Hoekzema has a background in architecture, which is why his work is often packed with geometric shapes. Hoxxoh’s art—like the murals on the YoungArts campus, at “The Belt” in Detroit, and outside of his Little Haiti studio—focuses on time as a beautiful energy and what happens when we let go of our control of time. He’s not just a mural man, however; his paintings have been displayed at the Art Wynwood International Contemporary Art Fair.
An installation view from Benjamin Hollingsworth’s exhibition “Grace,” at City Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, 2012–2013.
A South Carolina native who spent the past eight years in New York City, Benjamin Hollingsworth recently made the move to Miami to open up shop in Little River. He’s worked with curator Susan Thompson of the Guggenheim Museum on a solo show and has an expansive solo show in his hometown at the end of the month. Come spring, his Miami studio will be packed with work ranging from two-dimensional pieces to sculptural ceramics and installations.
Senseless Fighting, Ivan Roque.
A Cuban-American artist who grew up in Carol City, Ivan Roque uses life experiences to shape his art. After traumatic events, like having a gun put to his head at age 8, Roque now creates art for his inner child. He’s worked with major brands such as Seagram’s Gin, Beck’s beer, and the Opium Group, and his third solo show will be a museum exhibition at the Coral Springs Museum of Art this summer.
Brian Butler’s sketchbook at a music festival in Portland, Oregon.
Brian Butler considers the concert venue—a place filled with unpredictable muses—his workplace. His history of illustrating concerts has made him a fixture in the local Miami music scene, and the band Weezer once photographed him at a summer music festival after they saw him illustrating a show. His work has appeared on merchandise for musicians like Little Dragon and Pharrell Williams, and Butler’s official commissions include pieces for Bonnaroo, Tumblr, and Converse. Catch him in person illustrating Miami’s Winter Music Conference (March 21 through 24).
Royal Condor, Luis Valle.
Nicaraguan artist Luis Valle, aka El Chan Guri, grew up in Miami and has immersed himself in the community, working closely with Arts For Learning Miami, the Miami Children’s Museum, and the Overtown Youth Center, to name a few. His style, blending energy and spirituality, can be found on murals at the Jugofresh headquarters in Little Haiti as well as J. Wakefield Brewery and Trio Yoga in Wynwood and the Bamford Sports Complex in Davie; currently, he’s using his brush to revitalize the North of Wynwood (NOW) neighborhood.
Artist Jay “Remote” Bellicchi, a Boston native, is a product of ’80s hip-hop culture. After moving to Miami in 2000, his passion for graffiti art was reignited. He’s since founded eccentric toy company Graff Toyz and become a full-time working artist. His latest project, Sprayskull, a sculpture series incorporating repurposed spray cans and other art-making materials, debuted in 2015. He and the newly formed Odd Jobs Collective recently worked on numerous mural projects, many of which were for The Related Group.
A mural by Miami street artist Atomik in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok East.
Famous for his iconic orange character, which emerged as a response to the demolition of the Miami Orange Bowl, Atomik has spread his Miami symbol around the world, placing it everywhere from Japan and Argentina to Italy and Spain. While he’s best known for his sleek hand styles, graffiti, and lettering, his studio pieces on canvas, paper, and found objects like street signs directly reflect his street work. This year he will also release his first vinyl toy.
Terminal Velocity 1, Cara Despain.
Included in exhibitions “No Man’s Land” at the Rubell Family Collection, “Littlest Sister” at Spinello Projects, and “Fantastical Vizcaya” at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Cara Despain had a big Art Week in December—her work, which scrutinizes our relationship to aesthetics and objects, recently explored this in the context of North American expansionism, with its industrialist emulation of old-world wealth. Incorporating tropes associated with the American West, her work heads to the Central Utah Art Center, in her hometown of Salt Lake City, this spring.
UnderTown Ocean, from the Ocean Series by GG
Gabriel “GG” Gimenez is a Venezuelan-born, Miami-based visual artist inspired by his own analyses and reflections of life. His work, which often alludes to pop culture through vibrant color schemes, has been in exhibitions in Milan, Berlin, and Dubai, and locally at Wyn317 and Castle Fitzjohns Gallery pop-ups, to name a few. He’s also collaborated with Adidas, Del Toro Shoes, Coconut Cartel, Red Bull, and Kiehl’s on various projects.
Emirates, Marlon Preuss
An illustrator and muralist, Marlon Preuss is a DASH graduate with a love for experimenting with different characters and environmental elements in order to create unconventional juxtapositions. His situation was tested in college when ulcerative colitis forced Preuss to undergo a serious surgery; the experience ultimately became a powerful influence on his art. He’s painted a mural spanning the entire Basement Miami, a school bus at III Points music festival, and recently a mural in a Mount Sinai Medical Center doctor’s office.
Diloggun, Don Rimx.
David “Don Rimx” Sepulveda discovered art while growing up in crime-ridden public housing in Puerto Rico. A move to Brooklyn inspired 16 Barras, murals depicting residents interlaced with a number and word to form a citywide poem. Since moving to Miami in 2014, Don Rimx has participated in Beck’s Urban Canvas, was a featured artist in the “Cars Meet Art” exhibit of the Miami International Auto Show, and has worked on projects with the Jordan sneaker brand.
Nun’s sculptural tables Tip (glass and travertine) and Sade (glass, wood composite, automotive paint).
Collectively known as Nun, the creative duo of Jessica Martin and Deon Rubi focus on design—including objects, furniture, and sound—and explore a discipline between the rigidity of design and the materiality of sculpture. Their work has been exhibited at Spinello Projects’ Littlest Sister Art Fair and Design Pub’s “White on White” and Guccivuitton’s “Objects of Desire” shows. Together they also compose music and have performed and arranged performances with musicians like Poorgrrl, Chargaux, and former M.I.A. drummer Kiran Gandhi.
Andy Warhol portrait by Trek6.
Miami street artist Oscar “Trek6” Montes’s abstract and realist work has appeared in the Samsung commercials with LeBron James and the Showtime miniseries The Franchise. He recently opened an exhibit with the family of Bob Marley at the History Miami Museum, and became the first live painter and street artist to be featured in New York Fashion Week with Naeem Khan and Christian Louboutin. He’s also beautifying neighborhoods around the world through projects like Hawaii’s Pow! Wow! and Puerto Rico’s Santurce Es Ley.
Pure Fuchsia, Karen Starosta-Gilinski.
Raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Karen Starosta-Gilinski works in Miami, sculpting art from provocative textures. She holds degrees from Accademia del Giglio in Florence, Italy, and Miami International University of Art & Design, and has exhibited in London and Shanghai, and at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. Starosta-Gilinski, who recently showed her work Unfinished Gem: Intrinsic Beauty at Primary Projects in the Design District, also has a commissioned sculpture permanently on display at the Frost Art Museum.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF COURTNEY EINHORN; ALICE KEENEY (HOXXOH); BRIAN BUTLER (SKETCHBOOK); IVAN ROQUE (ROQUE); LUIS VALLE (VALLE); @TECHMENTAL (REMOTE); Cara Despain (Despain. Mariana Diaz (gg); sarah White (Don rimx); spinello projects (nun). Zachary balber/courtesy of the artist anD primary projects (starosta-gilinski)